About Charleston

Charleston Aquarium

Angel Oak Tree

Fort Sumter

Great Charleston Beach and Pier

St. Michaels Church

Morris Island Lighthouse

Things to See and Do in Charleston

The website above is your source for things to see and do in Charleston. There are some great historic and plantation tours. You can choose coastal and nature tours, boat and kayak tours, walking tours, carriage tours, and tours specific to churches, architecture, breweries and distilleries, food, etc. The plantations and gardens are beautiful although February/March is the best time for visiting the gardens. Fort Sumter is a common favorite. Or you can just get away to several nearby beaches, including Folly Beach and Kiawah Island.

Starting just a few days after PRIMO 20 ends, Charleston hosts the 17-day long Spoleto Festival. This is one of American largest performing arts festivals, with performances ranging from opera, symphonic music, theater, dance, and jazz. More information can be found at:

Getting Around Charleston

Charleston is very walkable and the recommended way to for getting around, the downtown area.

Taxis from the airport cost about $35.00. Shared shuttle buses are cheaper (about $15.00), but the trip is much longer due to the number of stops the bus makes (

Once downtown, CARTA, the local shuttle bus, can get you just about anywhere you want to go ( ). A downtown map is provided below.

The Francis-Marion Hotel is hosting the conference. Registration, symposia, poster presentations, the keynote address, and included meals will all take place at this hotel ( ) The Francis-Marion is ideally situated in downtown Charleston, and is in walking distance to the major attractions. Because of our exclusive use of this hotel, they have provided all attendees with a low negotiated room rate located, which is less expensive than other downtown hotels. Attendees are HIGHLY encouraged to help keep our costs down and book a room at the Francis-Marion.

The Battery

Boone Hall Plantation

History and Fun Facts About Charleston

Charleston is one of the oldest cities in the southeastern United States and has a rich history. It was originally founded in 1670 as Charles Town, honoring King Charles II of England. The original city was moved in 1680 to its current location, and changed its name during the Revolutionary War. Charleston has maintained its status as an important port city for years. It was one of the ten largest cities in the USA until the mid 1800s. It was also the port destination of approximately 40% of the Africans that entered the USA, primarily at Gadsden’s Wharf on Sullivan’s Island. Not surprisingly, Charleston played a major role in the Civil War.

The first shots of the American Civil War were fired on Fort Sumter from Fort Johnson in 1861. Today Fort Johnson is the site of multiple marine laboratories, including Grice Marine Laboratory (maintained by the College of Charleston), the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Marine Resources Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (Office for Coastal Management).

Charleston Harbor was also the site of the first successful submarine attack in 1864 by the H.L Hunley, which sunk shortly thereafter.

Charleston is also known for its well-preserved architecture, distinguished restaurants, and hospitable people. It is a popular tourist destination and has received numerous accolades as America’s Most Friendly City, World’s Best City (both by Travel and Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler), most hospitable city (Southern Living), and America’s Favorite Destination (#1 city in American and Canada).

Charleston is known as the “Holy City”, possibly for the large number of historic churches. Charleston is well known for its local seafood, which plays a key role in the city's renowned cuisine, comprising staple dishes such as gumbo, she-crab soup, fried oysters, Lowcountry boil, deviled crab cakes, red rice, and shrimp and grits. Rice is the staple in many dishes, reflecting the rice culture of the Low Country. The cuisine in Charleston is also strongly influenced by British and French elements. If you are a beer lover, the brewery scene in Charleston is vibrant and fantastic. More information can be found at:,_South_Carolina, or

The H.L. Hunley

Depiction of Fort Sumter during Civil War